Noam Shpancer says that most people “interpret all of life by [their] current context.” The current context is the only interpretive lens they’ve got. How sad that is, especially during this time of pandemic, but also at other times. Interpreting all of life by our current context makes faith impossible.
There is a story in Numbers 13 and 14 that illustrates this perfectly. Moses had sent twelve men into the Promised Land on a reconnaissance mission. They saw that the land was good, but they also saw fortified cities and enemy forces. Ten of them reported back that the situation was impossible. “We can’t complete the mission,” they said. “We’ve got to turn back or we’ll get pulverized. It’s hopeless.” They interpreted life by their current context
The other two, Caleb and Joshua, interpreted their current context by the eternal God and what they knew he had done in the past. They said, “We can and must do this – and we’ll succeed at it – because we know our God.” The others locked eyes with their troubles. Caleb and Joshua locked eyes with their God. Is it any surprise that the author of Hebrews tells us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of the faith” (Hebrews 12:2)
Don’t interpret life by a COVID-19 context. God is our context. Don’t interpret life by a health context. God is our context. Don’t interpret life by an employment context, a financial context, a success context. God … is … our… context.
God is not only our context; he is our future. The God who was present in the past is already present in the future. The God who owns the past owns the future as well. The future is no less safe to the people of God than the past. We don’t worry about what the past might do to us, neither should we worry about what the future might do. God – our God; the God of our Lord Jesus Christ – is our future.
Now, we need to know this: The God who owns the past and owns the future meets us in the present. There is simply no other time to meet him. Don’t say someday. It is today; there is only today. This is the time to acknowledge God, to give your life to him, to trust him. He meets us in the present. If we do not meet him there, we will not meet him at all.
And he meets us in a person: his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is God with us. Jesus is God for us. If we will not meet God through him, we will not meet him at all.
This is why Christmas is good news: The God who is behind us in the past and before us in the future, is the God who is with us in Jesus Christ. The God who came humbly to us in our own flesh, who will return gloriously to us in his own power, is the God who is with us in Jesus Christ, our Immanuel. Want to lock eyes with this God? Look into the face of Jesus.